Archive for September 3rd, 2009|Daily archive page

So far, so good

I saw Mom today, for the first time since Monday when I was there to fill out paperwork. My neighbor, the hospice social worker, came over Tuesday evening to say she had seen Mom that day and that Mom seemed friendly and at ease. She had dog/cat with her, and a male resident came up to Mom with his hand tucked into his sleeve and joked that dog/cat had bitten his hand off. It took him two tries before Mom got it, but she got it. My neighbor said anytime she is at the Alz center, she will try to check on Mom if she can. What a gift that is. I told her I’d do all I could not to abuse that offer of hers.

Mom was in the big program area in the wing populated by generally more mobile patients. She was sitting at a table with three other women. They weren’t really conversing or anything. Mom had a funny ensemble on: white and blue striped pants, a black blouse with red roses on it, and her Navajo patterned fleece jacket. With Halloween themed socks and her pink Crocs. I think staff might let her do some choosing of her own clothes based on that outfit… I walked up to her and gently patted her arm so I wouldn’t scare her. She seemed glad to see me but she didn’t say “Hallelujah” or “It’s a miracle.” She just smiled and I sat with her for awhile. She said the kids had been there earlier – the kids from the on-site daycare. Those events that the kids participate in will always be the highlight of her day, I’m sure. We walked to her room. I picked up her laundry. We sat in the lobby for a little while. I pointed out there would be a bingo game this afternoon in the program area, which is down a long hallway from Mom’s dining room. I was thinking out loud about how she’ll know about bingo and a passing nurse said that Mom heads to the program area immediately after she eats her meals. So she is figuring the place out. She said things are fine. She looked good. I think it’s safe to say all is well with these new arrangements. I think I will sleep all day Sunday and Monday, the Labor Day holiday, to celebrate that fact.

Meanwhile, Monday I got an e-mail from Noah the administrator at the previous nursing home. No subject line. This is what he wrote:

Hello Emily. I know that Bonnie moved on Friday to Columbus Alzheimer’s and I just wanted to touch base and see how she was doing in her new surroundings. I do apologize that Whetstone was not a good fit for her, and I sincerely hope her new surroundings at Columbus Alzheimer’s put her more at ease. Please let me know if there is anything else we can do.


I wrote back an inoffensive message that she is fine and feeling at home in her new location. I closed with: It seems best for everyone in the long run – but what a week for everyone, too!

Even though I generally loathe him, I appreciate any gesture like this. It’s an effort to make amends, I am guessing. Perhaps his coworkers gave him some idea of how hard I was taking this news that Mom was kicked out. Now that the crisis is behind me, I am not interested in doing any of the things I wanted to do last week, like writing a letter to Noah telling him just how terrible his manner is with families, or writing a letter to his boss complaining about how we were treated. Sadly, I’m pretty sure, based on what I have heard from staff, that he represents the wishes of his corporate leaders. I am not in full forgiveness mode, but I do prefer to move on. Not waste the energy. Stay on the high road. And just hope that other families with loved ones with dementia have a better experience than we did.

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